The critical importance of social customer care

No company these days can ignore the impact that social media has on customer service or client service.

Many companies have literally done away with, or heavily reduced their investment in staffed client service phone representatives and even call centers.

They understand that their customer is on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Snap chat and these are the tools that these customers use to voice their opinions on a product or service, complain about issues and talk about brands, all at free will.

Without a solid social customer care plan and flawless management, companies serving direct customers are at major risk of customer loss and worse, negative market share impact.

I am happy to announce that I will be moderating the Social Customer Care session at ClickZ Live on April 13, 2016 in Manhattan. This session is sure to be a vocal one.

As a sneak preview into this session, I wanted to share five important factors in this area and some tips from the experts in social care who will be on the ClickZ Live Panel.

Listen in to their answers to these critical decisions related to social customer care:

1. Should a company create a specific social presence (Twitter handle, Facebook Branded Page, etc.) just for their customer care area?

Nate Deeds – Director of Social Media Marketing at Open Table:

Having a support-specific social account can be great, as customers seeking help immediately get to the right team. Support requests sent to the general company account can still be replied back from the support account.

2. What is the appropriate response time in social media to customers? And what is it specifically per channel?

David Basulto, CEO of Iographer:

During working hours, 15 minutes on twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Five minutes on Snapchat.

3. How does a company handle the creation, management and transfer of social media care guidelines from one employee to the next and during times of transition?

Ian McCormick, KeyBank Director of Social Media Marketing

Creation and management should be handled with care, thought, and an open mind. Accept that whilst you’re developing these processes, that they may be subject to change over time. Build as many good relationship/partnerships as you can within the organization, so social has a robust support system.

Company direction can and will shift in any industry. When in a leadership position or in charge of a particular project, it’s paramount that you think on plans for succession once you’re machine is well-oiled, and firing on all cylinders.

 

4. How do you handle negative customer comments in social?

Nate Deeds, Social Media Marketing Director, Open Table

Taking the criticism dead on is best, when valid. Listen, identify the issue, and explain why the issue exists and what is being done to mitigate the issue going forward. However, sometimes people just need to vent. Not every negative sentiment tweet requires a response.

 

5. Who is your social voice? How do you set parameters for anyone involved in social to follow?

Ian McCormick, KeyBank Director of Social Media Marketing

Currently we keep our voice professional, but light, and humorous. Each interaction should be treated as if you’re talking to an old friend. The replies should not seem templated. The consumers need to know we’re actually reading what they send us. 

There are many critical decisions and daily actions a social media marketing team must take to keep a strong online brand when it comes to dealing appropriately with customers online.

Just as in general client services, a company that can exceed its customers’ expectations of a brand can rise above the rest.

If you have responsibility for this function in your organization or run your own business you should join jus on April 13 at ClickZLive NYC. See you there!

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